And this tactic I came across is one of those smack-your-forehead, wish-I’d-thought-of-that ideas.
I don’t watch a ton of TV (have to be selective so I’ll have more writing time), but a few shows catch my eye. One of them is Castle, a crime “dramedy” (drama meets comedy, get it?) about a NYC detective, Kate Beckett, who gets saddled with well-connected mystery writer Richard Castle, who wants inspiration for his latest novel. It’s totally unrealistic (like the NYPD would allow a writer to tag along to murder scenes and help solve crimes), but I got hooked on the writer angle and like the chemistry between the two leads.
Last week I was hunting Amazon for holiday gifts, and in the thrillers section (best-selling thrillers, no less) found “Heat Wave,” a Nikki Heat mystery by Richard Castle, the same one that was featured at TV’s Castle’s book release party episode that appeared at the beginning of this season. The book on Amazon is a joke, of course, since burrowing further down in the reviews section reveals that the book is written by one of the show’s writers, using the pseudonym “Richard Castle.” The author’s “official” bio reads that Castle received the Nom DePlume Society's prestigious Tom Straw Award for Mystery Literature, an award that doesn’t exist. Tom Straw is the real name of a television writer, and duh, “Nom DePlume,” so you do the math.
But the idea is pretty damned brilliant—not only cross-marketing to the TV show, but repurposing the content of the TV scripts into a mystery novel (or the other way around.)